Menu

COVID19

SELF-CARE FOR DOCTORS IN A COVID WORLD

Specific to COVID-19 supports:

  • Link to COVID-19 Testing in Northern Territory - information here.
  • Dedicated COVID-19 remote community travel hotline for the NT - 1800 518 189.
  • Coronavirus Health Information Phone Line is 1800 020 080.
  • Link to self-care information for health workers here.
  • Looking after your mental health beyondblue resources here.
  • Visit your respective College's website with details of webinars and other supports that may be useful as well.
  • Resources fact sheets from EASA, and details of EAP for health workers across the NT
  • The psychological needs of health care workers as a result of Coronavirus pandemic - paper by British Psychological Society - download here.
  • Great podcast by Dr Sarah Newman from WA Doctors' Health Service about looking after yourself during this challenging COVID time -listen here.

Five Principles of Self-Care

Preparation

  • Optimise your immune system by avoiding fatigue and sleep deprivation, alcohol and smoking.
  • Come to work fully rested and adequately hydrated.
  • Ensure your diet has plenty of fruit and vegetables and add a supplement of oral vitamin C (250mg) and zinc (25mg) on a daily basis. Eat modest amounts of really good food.
  • Walk, exercise to around 2.5 hours each week. Don’t overdo it and avoid it late in the evening.
  • Maintain your non-medical interests and pursuits when away from work. These are invigorating.

Protection

  • PPE is good for you. Doctors work in risky work environments. Use PPE.
  • Aim for best-practice at work - frequent handwashing and make full use of gloves and masks.
  • Insist on good signage and staff training at work to protect your key personnel at work.
  • Carry disposable gloves to wear when not at work such as when using public transport, shopping or public bathroom facilities. Avoid sick people when not at work.
  • Avoid stress emanating from COVID news overload and excessive exposure to early morning and late evening news.
  • Ensure you are fully immunised against influenza.

Professionalism

  • Remain well-informed, using a reliable single source of information
  • Maintain a calm and consistently positive manner, whilst leading by example with handwashing and using PPE.
  • Avoid endorsing unqualified sources of COVID information.
  • Do not go to work if unwell. Support colleagues who are unwell and are not at work.

Promotion

  • Encourage your colleagues to consistently aim for best practice.
  • Role model for others, especially staff, students and patients.
  • Remind all staff and colleagues at every opportunity of the standard expected.

Pathway of care (for yourself or a colleague)

  • Seek the formal care from your own GP where possible. We encourage this strongly.
  • If you do not have your own GP, Doctors' Health NT has a list of some GPs who are able to see doctor-patients - details here.
  • A 24/7 Phone Advisory service for all Northern Territory doctors is available on number 08 8366 0250, operated by Doctors' Health SA experienced doctors for doctors.
  • Telemedicine consultations are available, operated through Doctors' Health SA, more information here.

Download a copy of this as a handout here.